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Cancer Patients Explain Why 'Freedom Day' Is Meaningless And 'Really Frightening'

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Cancer Patients Explain Why 'Freedom Day' Is Meaningless And 'Really Frightening'

As Freedom Day arrives and Covid-19 restrictions ease across England, many cancer patients are speaking out about how today means quite the opposite for them.

Since the start of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions last year, some people have been shielding non-stop, or acting particularly vigilantly for the sake of their own health. And they have reminded others that for them, the eradication of restrictions is "really frightening".

The rules state that masks won't be compulsory in many public spaces, limits on gatherings will no longer be in place and social distancing guidance won't be bound by law.

Lara and Theresa both have cancer (Credit: PA)
Lara and Theresa both have cancer (Credit: PA)
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Speaking about today's new chapter, Lara Montgomery, who was diagnosed with womb cancer in 2019, said: “For a lot of people… it’s not freedom day at all.

“People are just going to become too relaxed (and) the situation for people like ourselves… is going to become really frightening."

Laura said that a consequence of relaxing restrictions is that even if she chooses to remain vigilant, the virus could still "end up in [her] home".

“It’s been a growing fear for us, I think initially we thought we could control it and stay safe and we could keep our own safety as a bubble but as things have gone on it’s become more difficult.

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“I find going to the supermarket really frightening, because it’s where you have your personal space invaded the most.

“In most arenas you can stay fairly safe but you go shopping and people are reaching over and I can just see it, come Monday, very few people will wear masks.”

The rate of infection in the UK is rising (Credit: PA Graphics)
The rate of infection in the UK is rising (Credit: PA Graphics)

Lara's wife Theresa, who also has cancer, having been diagnosed leukaemia in November 2020, ended up in hospital not long ago after catching Covid-19 from their son.

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She added: “It was that point at which I thought this is really happening still.

“There are so many people who are contracting it and I think the stats recently show that, so how can Monday happen when it’s still in full flow?”

Krista Jay is another patient who is nervous, but she understands society's need to unlock. A health and lifestyle coach with rare POEMS Syndrome (Myeloma), Krista said: “If I look at this from a bigger perspective we need to, as the whole world together, move on.

Krista was diagnosed with Myeloma in May 2020 (Krista Jay/PA)
Krista was diagnosed with Myeloma in May 2020 (Krista Jay/PA)
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“However there is a nervousness about me around people thinking that everything is OK".

She added: “What we need to do now even more is really pull together as a community and take responsibility for our own wellbeing, our own health and to understand that there are people out there that are more vulnerable.

“It’s been hard. I haven’t been to the pub yet and I haven’t been able to go out to big social gatherings and I take precautions when I do simple activities like going to the supermarket.

“Just be diligent and keep everyone safe as well as yourself, I think that’s the most important thing moving forward.”

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Krista continued: “Even though it’s so-called Freedom Day, I think we need to be a little bit careful about how we go about doing things.

“That’s the most important thing because we’re all chomping at the bit, all of us, no matter where we’re from or what we do, who we are, what we’ve been through.

“We’re all wanting to get back to normal life, to be with our friends, to be with our families, to have fun and get back to some sort of normality.”

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Coronavirus, Life, Real Life, Health

Joanna Freedman
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